Francis (Frank) Isaac Steed
Steed, Corporal Francis (Frank) Isaac no.755.
30th Battalion C Company.
“Monaltrie” 37 George Street, Croydon Park.
Sheet Metal Worker.
Born at Croydon Park 1883, son of Frederick and Catherine Steed.
Educated at Croydon Park and Cleveland Street Schools. Married Alice Daft 1911.
Enlisted at Canterbury NSW, 12/7/1915.
Killed in action at Fromelles 20/7/1916, aged 31.
Buried in VC Comer Cemetery, Panel 2.
AWM IDRL428 Letters to the British Red Cross re Australian servicemen:
W.Graham no. 1308 C Company 2nd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 21/9/1916:
Two mates of mine called the Jackson brothers saw Steed lying on the ground at night on the 19th July. Steed said “I am done for”. We lost that part of the line, in fact, the Germans probably hold it still.
Private E Erickson no. 1215, No. 12 General Hospital, Rouen, 6/11/1916:
He was caught coming out of the German trench and I heard him sing out “I am done for”, and he dropped. Only two out of seven got away. This was reported to me by Lance Corporal Jackson who was with him.
A Private on Hospital Ship Jan Braydell Boulogne 22/9/1916:
The last time I saw this man was when he was just over the first line of German trenches at Fromelles and he said to me that he was done. He was wounded in the legs I think. We had to make a [retreat] at the first line of German trenches, so could not attend to the wounded. When we retired we had to go back to the first line at 2.30 a.m. the next morning, but I saw Steed at about 7.30 in the evening. He said distinctly he was done for and I do not think he would have lived.
Private Kristenson no.1575, No.20 General Hospital, Etaples, 9/11/1916:
I saw him lying badly wounded in both legs in a German trench at Fromelles. We had to retire from the trench later on and of necessity had to leave him. If he lived, he must have been made a prisoner.
Lance-Corporal A Jackson, C Company, 30th Battalion, France, 22/12/1916:
I was with him on the night of 19th July 1916, our party was forced out of the enemy trench while getting over the parapet. Corporal Steed was shot by a sniper. He fell back into enemy trench, as he fell he said “I’m done”. We had no chance whatever to reach him or have no idea where he was wounded.
Thomas Richard Boyle, 30th Battalion, C Company, Eastcote VAD Hospital, Middlesex:
... Very quiet man, fair ...
Corporal E. King no. 1325 30th Battalion, France, 13/2/1917:
I with the rest of the Division hopped over the parapet and made for the enemy’s lines. On the way across No Man’s Land however, I was separated from Corporal Steed. A.A. Jackson no.1270 of the Company entered the German lines in company with Frank Steed and it happened that it was a heavily shelled part of the line they came to and of course looked for a better position. On clambering out the other side of the German trench they were under heavy machine gun enfilade, first man out fell back shot through the head and four other poor fellows of ours suffered likewise. I'm sorry to say Lance Corporal A. Jackson came last and Corporal Steed preceding him fell back into his (Jackson’s) arms while doing so saying “Go on, I'm done Arthur!” Jackson turned him over, had a look at him and then left him for dead. He told me that afterwards he could not swear to him being dead but so far as he knows that was his sad ending. Another of our fellows a stretcher bearer wrote his wife stating he saw him lying on top of the German first-line and also said he put him on his stretcher and carried him back leaving him at the Field Dressing Station. That was absolutely erroneous because this Stretcher Bearer was never near the enemy’s lines only working behind our lines. Of course, being a Stretcher Bearer Corporal Steed’s wife placed more importance on that statement, but it was totally wrong. I’m personally acquainted with Mrs F. Steed. I wrote her a letter of condolence but did not tender her any information whatsoever knowing fully well that others had written her re her husband’s sad but glorious ending. Corporal F. Steed is still on this Battalion’s casualty report as "Wounded and Missing” and so far no more information has been obtainable by anyone on this side...
Mrs Alice Steed “Monaltrie” George Street, Enfield 22/10/1916:
So far nothing as come to light, the worry is just awful... 4/12/1916: Age 32, 5ft 11 ins, hair, dark brown, eyes, grey, ears, large and cup shape, cut mark above the lip, birth mark on knee. Her aunt’s address: 54 Holme Road, West Bridgeford, Nottingham.
The foundation of the information on this page was copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.
An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys list. Every name is linked to an editable version of the individual’s biography copied from the Canterbury’s Boys book. The editable biographical files have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add any further information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.
Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002